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English KS4

All students will study the AQA specifications for GCSE English Language and Literature, with examinations for both GCSE subjects being taken at the end of Year 11.

English Language GCSE:

Students of all abilities will be able to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures. The texts studied will come from a range of genres and types. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online).

There are two equally weighted examination papers, each assessing reading and writing in an integrated way.

Each examination paper has a distinct identity to better support high quality provision and engaging teaching and learning. Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers. Paper 2, Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

The approach to Spoken Language (previously known as Speaking and Listening) will emphasise the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students. The endorsed unit will draw on good practice to suggest how engaging formative tasks can lead to a single summative assessment. Spoken Language is marked and assessed by the class teacher and appears as a separate endorsement but is worth 0% of the actual English Language GCSE.

English Literature GCSE:

Students will study a range of texts including a Shakespeare play and a 19th century novel, pre-1900 poetry and more modern texts which include post-1914 prose fiction and drama.

Students are encouraged to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature should encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.

There are two examinations papers, one worth 40% of the English Literature GCSE and the other, worth 60%. In preparation for these exams, students will:

  • Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • Read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read. 

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